Although the information in this post might be second nature to many designers, we still regularly walk through how to set up bleed in a supplied file, and why it is required.
1. WHAT IS BLEED?
Bleed is the image or artwork extending beyond where the document will be trimmed. It’s probably best explained visually. The thin lines are trim marks and tell us where to cut your document and the image extended past these lines is called bleed. 3mm bleed is usual for most print documents.
2. WHY IS BLEED REQUIRED?
Bleed ensures you won’t get white lines around the edge of your page when it is trimmed down. Because we guillotine large stacks of paper at a time, allowances need to be made movement within the sheets. Bleed gives us a 1mm tolerance around the edge of your page.
3. HOW DO I EXPORT A FILE WITH BLEED & CROP MARKS (InDesign)?
Set up: Go to File>Document Set Up. The bottom section will be Bleed and Slug. Set the bleed to 3mm on all sides. The bleed will show as a thin red line around each page. Ensure all images and colours are extended to this point.
Export : Go to File>Export>File type is Adobe PDF (Print)>Save. Go to the Marks and Bleed option from the left hand menu. Select Crop Marks in the Marks Section and Use Document Bleed Setting in the Bleed and Slug section.
4. WHAT IF I CAN’T SUPPLY THE FILE WITH BLEED?
If the program you’re designing in doesn’t allow you to export the file with bleed there are a few work arounds. Firstly, we can blow up your file to 105%, extending the images past where the document will be trimmed. You will need to design with this in mind. Alternatively, you can produce the artwork with a 5mm white border around the edge of every page. Read our recent article Designing for Print vs Digital Publications to better understand issues caused by using the wrong software program.
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